By CrossRiverWatch Admin
Due to the inability of Cross River State to host the National Sports Festival since the state got the right after the last edition in Lagos, Eko Games, in 2012, Sports Minister Solomon Dalung, has revealed that the Federal Government will host the 19th National Sports Festival in Abuja next year.
Cross River won the hosting right for the sports fiesta after the 18th edition in Lagos but the paucity of funds and inability of the state to complete necessary facilities for the games has caused repeated postponements.
The state government after three postponements had fixed the games again for November 2016 but with no contractor yet to return to site to restart work, all the signs are clear that the state is not even up to twenty five percent prepared for the games and we are already in October.
Sports Minister, Solomon Dalung is reporterd to have told journalists aboard an Arik airline flight from Ndola, Zambia, to Abuja on Sunday night that the Federal Government would host the event next year in Abuja.
Dalung, the report added said the national sports festival holds a strategic position in the country’s quest to climb out of the doldrums in international sports.
He said, “We were supposed to hold the festival two times before the last Olympics, as it would have helped us to discover quality talents that we would have trained for the competition. Now that it is obvious that Cross River has failed to come up with it, we will take it to Abuja next year.
“We would have held it this year in Abuja, but it was difficult because we just hosted the National Youths Festival, another important event.”
He said it was unfortunate that after two fund raising events, Cross River still failed to hold the festival. “The question is: What did they do with the money realized from the two fund raising events?
“We are looking at hosting the festival in the second quarter of next year,” He said.
State government officials were not immediately available to comment on the Minister’s allegations about what has been done with the funds from the two fundraising events and other related matters.
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